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1989 Isuzu Trooper II
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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
New to the forum, just picked up an 89 trooper this afternoon. It’s a 2.6 with a five speed, kind of a basic model. It’s an original Carolina truck and it is rust free and in really good condition. I was very excited to get it. It does appear that the timing belt has slipped and so it is currently not running. It’s been parked for a couple of years. I’ll have it back running in no time. I figure I’ll end up having the cylinder head off of it.
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1989 Isuzu Trooper II
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Discussion Starter · #6 · (Edited)
Decent project and No Rust is a plus! A word on the "slipped" timing belt, this is an interference engine so if it has indeed lost the cam timing, very likely to have crunched some valves.

On the older 4-cylinders, the heads were very prone to cracking. If you find a problem with the valves, you might consider throwing a new aftermarket head on it, to ensure reliability. The newer ZuZu and aftermarket heads have an improved casting that's not crack-prone.

In that light, also go thru your cooling system, as a blown hose, bad clutch fan, malfunctioning thermostat, or clogged radiator could lead to overheating and that's bad for the head gasket and head.

Use the Search feature and you'll find many many threads on cylinder head replacements and engine rebuilds. Plus lots of support from the community.

Congrats on your "new" Trooper and Welcome to the Planet!..........ed
Yep, already very familiar with the the 4ZE1. This is a back burner project that I purchased just because the opportunity presented itself. Honestly, I will probably just pull the engine and overhaul it once I get ready to start on it.

BTW I espy a nice Twister Orange 2018+ Mustang GT in the garage. Very cool! Am also a Mustang fan, learned to drive on my folk's '67 289 Coupe back when it was only about 5 years old. My Mom decided back in '17 that she wanted another Mustang, so she went out and bought one! '17 V6 Ruby Red coupe, sweet-running rig for a V6. Plenty of power for Hot Rod Grandma.

Later she picked up an '04 GT convertible and I liked driving that New Edge much I bought a 2004 Mach 1 with only 19,000 miles on it, and am loving it. Back in '18 picked up a '67 coupe with 5.0 HO EFI swap. A work in progress, but it's a fun car to drive and gets lots of looks.

Cheers & have fun with the ZuZu!.........ed
Good deal! This car is kinda special - it's a base car. The only two options it has are the Twister Orange paint and performance pack 1. Basically just a plain jane factory race car. I love it! Edit: It's a 2020 model.
 

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1989 Isuzu Trooper II
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Discussion Starter · #7 ·
Welp a little bit of good news, it turns out that the timing belt has not slipped and the cam timing is correct. It has wet stinky fuel on the spark plugs. It may not turn out to be too much of a big deal to get this thing running. The people I got it from clearly lied to me about how long it has been parked. It’s OK though, I’m used to that.
 

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1989 Isuzu Trooper II
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Discussion Starter · #9 ·
Yeah, that's definitely on the order of Good News! Might be something simpler. I guess the next question is, does it have spark?
I suspect it does because it sounds like it wants to start but I have not messed with it enough yet. It’s a good sign that the fuel pump is running but I figure I’m going to drop the gas tank and see what’s going on in there. I am off tomorrow so I will probably do a compression test in the morning before I put the spark plugs back in it. I have a homemade Drop tank with a submerged electric fuel pump in it that I use to do troubleshooting when I’m resurrecting fuel injected vehicles. I’ll probably get it hooked up on there at some point this weekend and have it running. I do this sort of thing all the time. I recently resurrected a Toyota Corolla that was parked for 14 years and I’ve been driving it to work every day this past week.

when you remove the gas cap it definitely has that smell, the smell of bad news. I’m a little bit surprised that the fuel pump actually runs. It’s hard to know what has been done to it before I got it though. I’m pretty sure the guy that I got it from you just lied to me. People do that ya know.
 

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1989 Isuzu Trooper II
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Discussion Starter · #11 ·
The compression readings were as follows, 1-4…

45, 50, 0, 0.

Lol. Also, here’s the view inside the fuel tank…

Brown Liquid Amber Fluid Wood


Brown Wood Bedrock Pattern Rectangle


Here’s what the pump assy looked like….

Road surface Wood Water Gas Asphalt
 

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Discussion Starter · #12 ·
Clearly it has a badly blown head gasket. I actually did get it to run though, briefly. I figure I’ll just pull it out and go through it. Does the front axle have to drop down to make way for the engine removal?
 

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Discussion Starter · #13 ·
Btw, I’m planning to cut the tank in half just below the pinch weld, all the way around and sandblast the inside of it, then I’ll weld it back together. I can’t believe how heavy duty this tank is.
 

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Discussion Starter · #15 ·
I would put sand/gravel in in and find a way to move it before doing that. The usual way is tie the tank to a tractor wheel, but not everyone has acces to a tractor.
I have a great deal of experience with this. I have done it just about every way imaginable. This is a very heavy tank and can be easily welded back together. Cutting it apart and sand blasting it on the inside is the very best way to renew it. That’s what I will do. It’s impossible to get this thing perfectly clean with the gravel method, it has a sump made into it for the fuel pump that would be nearly impossible to get clean that way.
 

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Discussion Starter · #19 ·
I figure the gasket is blown between the cylinders on three and four. Keep in mind this thing has been sitting for a very long time which is likely the reason the compression numbers are so low on the two cylinders that actually have compression. I have already cut the gas tank in half and have it cleaned up and tacked back together. I’ll take it to work Monday and tig it.
Wood Road surface Artifact Art Tints and shades


Wood Bumper Artifact Automotive exterior Font


Automotive tire Automotive lighting Motor vehicle Automotive design Road surface


Gas Motor vehicle Automotive exterior Bumper Automotive wheel system
 

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Discussion Starter · #22 ·
Finally getting around to pulling the engine out of this truck today. I hope the sorry SOB that designed this vehicle is dead and I hope he died a miserable death. That is all.
 

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Discussion Starter · #24 ·
I pulled the engine out whole, but I dropped the front differential. It took about two minutes to do that. My main complaint is the fact that a 100 hp engine had 12 bolts in the bell housing. Absolutely ridiculous. Every single day on this planet there’s 1000 hp V8 engines somewhere going down a dragstrip with six bolts in the bell housing.

Tire Wheel Vehicle Motor vehicle Automotive tire


this center bolt at the top of the bell housing is the one that really threw me for a loop. It is absolutely not visible from any angle and to add insult to injury there is a heater hose pipe that is clamped underneath of this bolt that also blocks head on access to the bolt from the rear. I ended up having to completely remove the motor mounts from the frame so that the engine would drop down low enough for me to be able to get in there on it with a long extension from behind after I bent the heater hose pipe all hell. I was ready to punch a baby by the time I got this thing out.

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Discussion Starter · #25 ·
Today I am going to explore the possibility of putting a small block Chevrolet in this. I believe that it will be a fairly straightforward retrofit. The transmission in this thing looks like something out of a school bus. I have no doubt that it will handle a small displacement small block Chevrolet without any issue. I have a 307 out of a 68 chevelle that would be a prime candidate. I’ll put a TPI setup on it.
 

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Discussion Starter · #26 ·
Bout as bad as it gets…

This is between three and four

Automotive tire Motor vehicle Water Wood Tread


And this is between one and two

Automotive tire Wood Water Rim Gas


I also like how they included an automatic detonation device in each combustion chamber…

Automotive tire Motor vehicle Tire Automotive design Rim
 

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Discussion Starter · #27 ·
So much for the sbc idea, even a 153 tooth flywheel wont fit inside the bellhousing 😐
 
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